As more people are becoming aware of their mental health and conditions they may be struggling with the desire to find natural ways of benefiting mental health continues to become more common.
Medical professionals and sufferers alike often recommend exercise as a great way of benefiting the body, soul, and mind.
Anxiety is one of the most common mental struggles many adults face. Anxiety can have many different symptoms and finding something that benefits you can take some time.
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is known for its many benefits, particularly its links with mental health.
Here we look at what Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is and how this martial art can help those who are suffering from symptoms of anxiety.
What Is Brazilian Jiu Jitsu?
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is a martial art that was established in Brazil by two brothers in the early 1900s. It was heavily influenced by Kodokan Judo.
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu focuses mostly on groundwork, such as grappling, holds, and pinning opponents or attackers down.
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu can be learned by many people of all ages and is even very accessible for those who may have physical disabilities, such as amputated limbs.
As the movement is focused on the ground those with less mobility can enjoy this sport.
Benefits Of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu For Anxiety
Symptoms of anxiety can include feelings of numbness, trouble concentrating, difficulty sleeping, and feeling tense. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu can be hugely beneficial in alleviating these symptoms over time.
Below are the benefits associated with Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) and how it can help those who are experiencing symptoms of anxiety.
Focus On The Present
In BJJ there is a focus on the moment and the present. When you are grappling with a partner you must focus on what is happening, how your partner is moving, and what you can do next to get out of a situation or pinned down position.
This focus can help clear a person’s head as any fuzziness as a result of mental health struggles must be cleared to allow the mind to focus solely on the task at hand.
It can take time to develop this skill but often people say that an hour session gives an hour break from the noise and difficulties in a person’s head.
From entering the training space the mind must be tuned into BJJ mode and any difficulties or problems can be left outside the door.
Having the ability to focus the brain will help retrain the brain to benefit moods as well as help a person work through their anxiety.
Thinking under pressure and problem solving are huge parts of BJJ, learning how to do this is a great way of mentally developing and can be beneficial not only within a grappling situation but also in personal life.
Being able to think under pressure will help a person to remain calm in difficult situations and to find a way out of something or a way to work through something.
The development of critical thinking will help a person to understand what they need to do to help themselves and having a newfound mental resilience will give them the strength to put their thoughts into action.
Exercise in general is a great way of creating natural happy hormones which can improve moods. BJJ helps to lower stress and negative hormone levels, such as cortisol.
Being active in a BJJ session will lead to the body creating happy hormones, such as dopamine and other endorphins which will help to bring happy feelings back into anyone who is feeling numb.
Being aware of what makes your body feel good and particularly what movement makes your body feel good is a great way of creating natural happy hormones more often as you will be more likely to repeat these activities.
Some anxiety medication creates chemical happy hormones and while for some people medication may be necessary for others having the ability to create natural happy hormones can be more beneficial.
General Health And Fitness
Exercise can help you to feel better in your own body and this can help to develop confidence which can be a great way of helping with any symptoms of anxiety a person may be feeling.
BJJ sessions act as a form of strength and cardio training. Cardio fitness is hugely important and having a healthy beating heart can prevent chest pains while also helping to relax the muscles in the chest.
Feeling tense is often a common symptom for those suffering from anxiety, a BJJ session can act as a full-body workout and help to relax muscles and leave a person feeling tired which can help sufferers get a good night’s sleep.
Improving overall fitness and health can also help a person to lose weight which again can help boost confidence and make a person feel more comfortable socializing with others.
Being a member of a club, such as a BJJ club, is a great way of keeping yourself accountable. As BJJ clubs charge session fees and membership fees the fact that you have financially invested in this venture you will be more likely to attend.
As you make friends and begin to progress through the BJJ ranks you will also be given the motivation to attend sessions as you will get to see friends and continue to reach goals set by both yourself and your Sensei.
If you are struggling with your mental health why not give a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu class a try, you have nothing to lose!
Many clubs offer trial sessions allowing you to try this martial art before committing to classes.
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu clubs are known for their community spirit which can be hugely beneficial in offering support to those who may be struggling.
As well as benefiting your mental health, and offering a way of meeting new people, you will also notice an improvement in your overall health making BJJ a huge help to those suffering from symptoms of anxiety.
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